In Spite of Those Chains

I’ve been having back issues ever since late June. In fact, I have a slipped disc. The pain at times is excruciating, and sometimes I can’t even move, my mobility is hindered. This has caused sciatica too. Numbness, pain, and tingling shoot down my left leg. But thankfully, I’ll be going into surgery in November. I look forward to being pain free and having my mobility back.

For five months I’ve dealt with my pain. At times it has caused me to be a witch, snapping at everyone and everything. Other times it has left me in tears and mopey. Especially in the beginning. But as the months gone by, I started to just accept how things are and held my head high. Because I thought of something.

Jesus on the cross. He was beat, whipped, and hung up on a cross to suffocate. I cannot imagine that kind of pain. Yet, did he complain? Was he snapping at everyone? Was he moping?  No. He asked God to forgive the people doing this to him. He was worried about his mother and who would care for her. He accepted a criminal on a cross next to him. His circumstances didn’t stop him from doing what he does best.

You know, one of my comfort books in the Bible is Ephesians. There are so many reasons why, one of which is because all too often I feel insecure about who I am in Christ. I’ll save that topic for another day though. What I wanted to bring to your attention is what I read towards the end.

Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

Ephesians 6:19-20

Paul, the author of the book of Ephesians, asked for prayer. He did not ask for prayers that his chains would be removed. He asked for prayers that he would continue to speak fearlessly for Christ in spite of his chains.

Maybe we’re focusing on the wrong things?

I’ll admit, I’ve asked for prayers in the beginning that my back pain would just go away. That things would be quick in resolving my issue. And, boy, look how that turned out! Pain all throughout, and a surgery taking place five months later!

No, I was focused on my circumstance and my circumstance alone. I was not focused on what could be done amidst the circumstance, but are you? Because, let me tell you. No matter where you are in life, no matter what you’re doing, no matter what you’re facing, God can use you.

Good can use you in spite of those chains.

This problem with my back is a learning point for me. No longer am I going to cry out, complain, and pray that things will be different. In this situation or any future one. Instead, I’ll pray to be fearless. That no matter what comes, I’ll take it in stride and shine God’s light through my life anyway. Because no matter what part of our life we are in, no matter the chains that bind us, whether it’s a slipped disc, family problems, lost jobs, whatever it is. In spite of it all, God is with us and he can use us.

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